Many menstruators complain of abdominal pain, fatigue and bad mood during their period. Others have not only mild symptoms, but also severe complaints such as migraine headaches and severe abdominal pain. Nevertheless, these menstruating people go to work every day, although they can hardly concentrate because of the pain. However, some can no longer get out of bed and therefore call in sick immediately. But sick leave due to menstrual pain is still frowned upon by many bosses and colleagues in Germany. However, there are more and more institutions and even states paying menstrual leave introduce.
Spain freed menstrual leave
In Spain, the first country in Europe to enshrine menstrual leave in law The Sexual and Reproductive Health Act came into force, allowing women to be off work due to menstrual problems. This measure, introduced by the left-wing government, was approved by parliament in February and is just one of many innovations adopted under the law.
Among other things, abortions and changing the sexual entry of trans people are now easier. If you want to go “without menstruation” to Spainyou need a medical certificate, and the duration of the work stoppage is in principle unlimited, depending on the intensity and duration of the pain. The State bears the costs.
Menstrual leave in Asia
In Asia, there are already regulations on menstrual leave. In Taiwan, for example, women can miss work for up to three days a year due to menstrual cramps, but during that time they only receive half their salary. South Korea goes even further and allows female workers to claim a menstrual day once a month. However, legal regulations in South Korea do not specify who will bear the costs of this day off and whether employees will continue to receive their wages during this period.
Menstrual leave: ten paid days per year
The boss of an Indian food delivery service explained in 2020 that all menstruating people Menstrual leave paid once per cycle and up to ten days per year can take.
But the announcement is a novelty in the country in particular. Because in India, menstruation is extremely taboo. Ashamed. Disgusting and not something to say. Because people who bleed are considered unclean there and should not enter temples, for example, while they bleed.
But the boss wants to standardize the period: “You should be able to just tell people in internal groups or via email that you’re taking the day off.”
Menstrual leave separates minds
So, is it fair to give paid menstrual leave to people who are in a lot of pain? Is the company now seen as super progressive with its decision? Or should the decision even be considered old-fashioned? The network argues on these issues.
Journalist Barkha Dutt, for example, explains that at first glance, she could not take the news seriously. According to the author, the regulation trivializing the feminist agenda and equal opportunity, especially in male-dominated industries. There are many menstruating women who suffer from pain during their periods. Those affected would often simply have a paracetamol or a hot water bottle will help.
What Dutt writes there is not well received by others. For example, there is the opposition of the founder of an Indian organization that promotes women in politics: “Some people these days may not understand periodic leave, just as many have opposed maternity leave. But one day it will be normal.
Here are the main arguments FOR menstrual leave:
- Justice and Health Awareness: Menstrual cramps can be painful and debilitating. Menstrual leave would allow women to take care of their health without pressure.
- Productivity: If symptoms are severe, productivity may be affected. It could therefore be in the company’s interest for employees to rest rather than work in pain.
- Advancement of equality: This would promote the recognition of menstrual problems as legitimate medical conditions and thus represent a step towards gender equality.
Here are the main arguments AGAINST menstrual leave:
- Discrimination: Employers may choose not to hire women to avoid additional downtime and associated costs.
- Potential for abuse: This system may be abused by some to get extra days off even if they feel little or no discomfort.
- Inequality with men: It could be considered unfair that only women benefit from these extra days off, which could create tension in the workplace.
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